Meet Venerable Nivitigala Sumitta Thero, a Model UWest Student from Sri Lanka

Nivitigala Sumitta Thero, a PhD student with 3 Masters degrees, chose to make the University of the West his home for the coming years. He chose UWest for its diverse campus, reasonable tuition and stunning location. Thero is dedicated to making his time at UWest a memorable one. “My fascination is teaching. I have a lot of experience from the east that I’d like to share,” he said.

He is a student ambassador, work-study student – at the Registrar’s Office and Office of Student Life – and the founder of the UWest Pali Society. The club has over 40 members and meets once a week. “I taught at a Sri Lankan University for nine years before coming here. I wanted to share something from the east. I felt it’s a great idea to start this [society] and so it was established,” he said.

In addition to the UWest Pali Society, Thero leads meditation programs and Dhamma talks at several local temples. “Anybody can try meditation and it is worth trying, I’m telling you. Young and old, anyone can try it and I have made everyone feel so great and comfortable,” said Thero.

His plan is to just enjoy himself and experience everything the university has to offer. “I’m so happy that I have been an active student in our university. I never miss a class,” said Thero.

In addition to on-campus activities, Thero is enjoying his time in Pasadena. “USA is the other side of the earth for me and it’s a twelve and half hour time difference. So everything is new to me here,” he said. Sumitta Thero hopes to continue teaching and experiencing new things. Hopefully, he will impart some of his knowledge and experience before he leaves.

“Wherever I am, I can make it my home. So I make it my home right here, I feel comfortable at the University of the West and I am ready to learn things from whatever situation. I’m really enjoying my stay in UWest and in this great city,” he concluded.

University of the West is located at 1409 S. Walnut Grove Ave., Rosemead. For more information, call (626) 571-8811 or visit


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